This is the big one. Win this and we become a part of history — lose this, and while some of the shine will be lost, there won’t be too much of a grudge losing to a side that has been awesome for most part of this season.
There has been plenty of talk about how United are favourites going into this game. Worryingly some sections of the media have been debating the margin of our victory rather than whether we’ll win this or not. Always trust them to build us up in preparation for a fall.
Contrary to popular belief in the English media, I think there is little that separates us from Barcelona. We have the better defence, but they’ve shown a better ability to play possession football.
Guardiola sees us as a side that plays counter attacking football which is why he’s stressed the need for their side to hold their shape. Xavi reckons Carrick is a more potent threat and needs to be curtailed.
Soccerlens did an exclusive interview with some chap called Lionel — worth a read.
There is an alcohol ban in Rome, but the fact that people still get stabbed despite this ban, hasn’t dawned on the authorities; the Guardian reports, one United fan and an American mistaken for a British fan have been stabbed. One hopes there isn’t more of this as the day wears on.
In team news, Rio Ferdinand was confident in the press conference that he’s fit. Ferguson really wants to win the European Cup badly — and we all know he’s made no bones about that in the press in the past.
With O’Shea guaranteed a place in the side, and Park looking certain to play a part, the starting XI will be like this:
EVDS, O’Shea, Vidic, Rio, Evra; Giggs, Anderson, Carrick; Park, Ronaldo, Rooney.
The key match ups today will obviously be, Evra-Messi (where Rooney will certainly track back) and Ronaldo-AN Other defender. In midfield Anderson will be expected to track Iniesta as well as Xavi — if both are played in midfield, and that will be the boy’s biggest challenge of his career.
I will be a tad worried about how Rio will hold up after being out for a while, but then that’s the pessimism in me. He did fit in flawlessly against Porto.
Anyway, let me move on to my infamous predictions before you folks take it from here…
Prediction: I’d say 1-0 to United. It’s really hard to say anything about this game.
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